State of the Nation
Deterrence is one of the basic components of national security. When the State of Israel presents a steadfast position that the entire Land of Israel is ours, and despite the threats and pressures, we will continue to build – our enemies are hesitant to initiate war against us.
However, when we show our enemies that we are not decisive enough to defend our land, that terrorist attacks weaken our position, and that international pressure causes us to fold – they think that the State of Israel lacks the strength to defend itself. They are convinced that their “spider- web” theory, according to which Israel is a weak and indulgent country that would not dare hit its enemies too hard, is correct – and they are plotting to destroy us.
Consequently, the present building freeze, which transmits capitulation to the Arab world, intensifies the existential danger of the State of Israel. Additionally, it damages the Jewish nation’s eternal connection to its land, and harms the settlers – upstanding citizens of the country.
The tens of planes which America is willing to give us cannot be compared to the severe damage of our military deterrence.
How sad it is that the man who is responsible for security does not understand this simple truth. “The planes are more important than politics” – is all he has to say. As if our holy right to settle the Land of Israel is politics. Such a Defense Minister is an embarrassment and a danger to the State of Israel.
Also the Prime Minister, who has been dragged-in by the Defense Minister against the will of the public, and who has breached his explicit promises to his voter’s – is utterly disappointing. The question arises: Is he appropriate for the job? Will he ever be able to fulfill the hopes that his parents and voter’s had for him?
The Land of Israel in this Week’s Torah Portion
A number of readers from the Tel Aviv area asked why I wrote that there is a special advantage to live specifically in Judea or Samaria. The answer is self-evident: Judea and Samaria are the heart of the country. Our forefathers walked in Judea and Samaria, and merited seeing Heavenly revelations there. From every letter in the Torah we learn countless things; how can we not learn from the mentioning of places in Judea and Samaria about their importance and holiness?!
Behold, in our Torah portion (Genesis 33:18): “When Jacob came from Padan Aram and entered the boundaries of Canaan, he arrived safely in the vicinity of Shechem. He set up camp in view of the city. He bought the piece of open land upon which he set up his tent for 100 kesitahs from the sons of Chamor, chief of Shechem. He erected an altar there, and named it God-is-Israel’s-Lord (El Elohey Yisrael).
Following the difficult account of Dina and Shechem, “G-d said to Jacob, “Set out and go up to Beth El. Remain there and make an altar to [Me], the G-d who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” “Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz in the land of Canaan – that is, to Beth El, since this was the place where G-d was revealed to him when he was fleeing from his brother (Genesis 35:1-7).
And behold another revelation and blessing! What could they possibly be about? Exactly what we have learned in all the previous portions — the increase of off-spring and the inheritance of the Land of Israel. “G-d said to him, “I am G-d Almighty. Be fruitful and increase. A nation and a community of nations will come into existence from you. Kings will be born from your loins. I will grant you the land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac. I will also give the land to your descendents who will follow you (Genesis 35:10-13).
The Torah emphasizes that there is great importance in the places where G-d appeared to our forefathers, and therefore it was precisely those sites where they erected altars to G-d. “Jacob had set up a pillar in the place that G-d had spoken to him…Jacob had named the place where G-d had spoken to him Beth El (G-d’s temple).
And the journey continues, reaching Efrata: “Rachel died and was buried on the road to Ephrath, now known as Bethlehem. Jacob set up a monument on her grave. This is the monument that is on Rachel’s grave to this very day.” The journey carried on: “Jacob thus came to his father Isaac in Mamre, at Kiryath Arba, better known as Hebron. This is where Abraham and Isaac had resided” (Genesis 35:16-27).
My brothers and friends: Go up and settle, build and spread out over the land! Those who cannot settle should come and visit, to give encouragement and to express love for the earth of these holy places. One should think to himself: What would Rabbi Yehudah Halevy, Rabbi Shalom Shabzzi, and all the other eminent Torah scholars have done had they been given the opportunity to settle, or at the very least, to visit, these holy sites – which the words of the Bible are replete with.